Regret my answers on the FOCUS test


#1

My fiance and I took the Focus test last night. The priest was very clear in his directions that it's a test for our benefit, we are the ones who have to live with each other, and he emphasized that we should be honest. He said it's pretty obvious the answers that they want, but we should answer honestly for our benefit. So I did. But now as I reflect on my answers today, I feel I was a bit harsh and I'm worried my answers will be misleading. For example, it asked if my fiance has ever put me down, or something along those lines. Well if we want to be honest and you've been with someone for three years, then sure he has put me down before. I've done it to him before during arguments, nobody is perfect. So I said I agree. Well is this going to come off as if he does it all the time? That's not the case at all. So I'm wishing I put down disagree. And there was a question about if I'm hesitant about getting married. Again, if we are being honest, I think everyone has a slight hesitation about making such a big decision. Personally I have been engaged before and it didn't work out, I'm 30 and I've never been married before, and with today's divorce rate, sure, I'm hesitant. But is this going to come off as if I'm hesitant about marrying my fiance? It has nothing to do with him, just the general idea of marriage and it's failure rate. So now I wish I put down disagree.

Will my answers be revealed to my fiance? I don't want to hurt his feelings and I feel if he sees my answers to these two questions and some others, he will be hurt. Do you think I should ask to retake the test before the results are given? Is that possible?


#2

The focus test is about communication. The answers that you gave and the explanation that you gave for them are perfectly acceptable. You should be able to talk about these feelings with your fiance. There will be much more difficult conversations in the future. If you think he might be hurt, it might be beneficial to talk with him about your answers before you review them with the priest, that way he won't be surprised by them.


#3

Don't worry... it really is for YOUR benefit! It's an opportunity to open up a discussion - in case there are serious underlying issues that could one day spring up and cause a major rift. It's OKAY to not be perfect! We're not perfect human beings! But in marriage our job is to help bring each other to holiness. Sharing your true, deep feelings is important - and being open to changing yourself for the love of your spouse is part of growing in holiness. I would just pray that your fiance was also truly honest - you may be surprised what answers he gives too! ;) Be open to acknowledging your failures as well as open to discussing your inner feelings...

It's a good test - don't abuse it! :thumbsup: You did just fine! :)
You'll be in my prayers that the discussion portion goes smoothly and you can move ahead without fear...


#4

You are over thinking this.

The FOCCUS is **not **a test, it’s an instrument. The instrument does not have right or wrong answers. Being honest is essential in whether or not the instrument will be of value to you during premarital preparation.

The value in the instrument is drawing out areas that may need discussing. The faciliators are trained in the instrument and on how to assist couples in communicating. It’s not a “gotcha” instrument.

You do not need to be worried about your answers. You will discuss areas on the instrument as a couple, with the facilitator. When DH and I did the instrument we did not go question by question, only certain areas were discussed based on the output-- areas where we had answered differently and that the facilitator wanted to discuss. The questions only serve as a springboard for conversation, and are not going to be picked apart by anyone. If your fiance has hurt feelings over you being honest, well, that is telling in and of itself. You should not be afraid to answer honestly on this assessment or to discuss it with your fiance and the priest.


#5

I think you made the right decision in putting down the most truthful answers. Sometimes those questions were hard to answer because of the way they were written but the end result is that they want to see if you and your fiance talk about your life together, raising a family, etc. So the answers won’t cause the priest to say you can’t get married, they may just have the priest talk a little more about that subject to make sure you’re on the same page.

If it makes you feel any better I also put down ‘agree’ to the question about your fiance saying hurtful things or doing something that upsets you. Just the other day he made a joke about me being a bridezilla. I was having a tough time and I took him at face value and got hurt. The important part is that once he realized his joke had hurt me he came over and apologized and promised no more jokes until I was feeling better. This is what the test is about. Pinpointing an area to make sure that you communicate as communication is the key to great relationships.


#6

I remember talking about my answers with my then-fiance after taking the test. We both had been confused/undecided on a lot of the same questions – but I, being scrupulous, always put down the most negative answer possible, while he put down a positive answer. When the priest told us we’d disagreed on some of those things, it wasn’t a shock to either of us – we just kind of laughed and said, “Yeah, we talked about it. Those questions were hard.” I think we women tend to be a little tougher on ourselves and our relationships, because we’re afraid of not mentioning something negative that might be important.

I mean, after all, you can’t fail the FOCCUS test! It’s just something you do as part of the process … and it ends up being something you laugh about later. Don’t worry a bit.


#7

I second what these other posters have offered. It IS for your benefit as a couple/. I will also say that some of the questions seem misleading to me, as in the question about "behaviors or habits that annoy me", to which the 'right' answer is no?!? If you know someone well enough to marry, there has to be SOMETHING, however minor that annoys you.

ANyway, take it easy, talk to your fiance, and use the opportunity to really talk about these things. Hopefully your marriage preparation will include a discussion of ways to address hurts to your spouse without accusing. (Here, think saying things like "I feel ___ when you say/do ___" rather than "You hurt me, insult me, etc.")

I'll keep you and your fiance and all others preparing for Catholic and Christian marriage in my prayers!


#8

You can't pass/fail the FOCCUS test -- as someone else said, it's just an instrument to identify areas of your relationship where you might have issues that you need to address. When my wife and I took this past year, before we were married, there were definitely some cases where we misunderstood the question, but it also revealed some areas that we needed to discuss before getting married. We laughed about some of the questions, but we thought it was very worthwhile.

We also took a pre-marriage course called "Preparing to Live in Love", which was very in depth, and incredibly valuable. I highly recommend it, if you have a chance to take it.


#9

Others have already said this, but I wanted to reiterate it to help make you feel better. :slight_smile:
The FOCUS test is nothing that you’re going to be judged by, it’s a tool to fascilitate communication between you and your fiance. There’s not going to be a big meeting with your priest where the results are revealed and you’re asked for an explanation, etc. Very likely, you won’t even hear about the specific results again. Hope that helps.


#10

It's been many, many years since DH and I did the Focus but I still laugh remembering DH's worry about a question. It was something like "sex is something I'm looking forward to". He was afraid to agree because he thought the priest (our rather old monsignor) would think DH was only interested in sex and didn't want to disagree because after all, he really was looking forward to consumating our marriage! In retrospect, I don't think we ended up discussing our results very much because the priest passed away before our wedding and we finished our marriage prep with our "back up" priest.

Best wishes for a wonderful marriage.

Kris


#11

The evaluation should give you things to prayerfully think about.

The fact that your boyfriend has put you down - that to me is a warning sign. We have been married for two decades, dated for years before that - we do not put each other down. Use these answers to see if this really IS the marriage for you.


#12

there are no right or wrong answers, only honest or dishonest ones. The latter help no one, nor do they fool anyone, because if you deny an issue exists it will jump up and bite you down the road, when you least expect it.


#13

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